Abbreviations for Zotero

  • I apologize. It is reachable now.
  • Both the csv and the json contain only journal names and their abbreviations. The json would need to be recast in the form used for input, but the issn and other identifiers are not relevant to abbreviation per se, so there wouldn't be a place for them in the schema.

    It may be that you are expecting behavior that the plugin isn't designed for. What would you like to see happen?
  • I thought that the identifiers would be ignored on import.

    Would this work properly if the extra identifiers were removed leaving only the titles and abbreviations? I recognize that the structure of "my" JSON tags differ from the format you used above.

    I thought that this might be a useful addition to the lists of abbreviations. My list contains abbreviations for several thousand journals that aren't included in the other online listings.
  • It certainly is useful. If you'd like, I can do the reformatting for you. When I can get to it, I plan to bring up an abbreviations area where these lists can be put on offer.
  • @fbennett I posted the list of abbrevitions because I thought that you or others might find it useful. If you have time and agree that others may benefit please add the list to your abbreviations area. The list isn't especially useful to me personally. I already can download citations with these abbreviations from SafetyLit into Zotero.
  • Is there any way I can use the this abbreviations plugin with Zotero Standalone and Google Chrome? Are there any alternative plugins available for Standalone?
  • there's a good chance this works with standalone - have you tried?
    (Install add-ons in standalone by downloading the .xpi and installing via Tools-->add-ons-->crossed tools icon -->install from file.
  • No I haven't tried it. I thought .xpi only worked with Firefox. I'll give it a go and get back to you.
  • OK that actually installed fine. Thanks. I was just put off because when I first downloaded the file and tried to open it I got the 'Windows can't open this file' box.

    Now to work out how to use it...
  • I'm fairly new to Zotero and I may have missed something, but the list provided by qztseng makes Zotero freeze (standalone). Was I supposed to use another list?

    Thanks :)
  • From the discussion in the thread, it sounds like that file still has problems.
  • Is there a link that explains how to build a json file which would be recognized by the abbreviation plugin?

    I wouldn't mind getting my hands dirty but I must say I have minimal knowledge in such things...
  • Thanks Gracile, that's very helpful.

    I will try and transform DWL-SDCA's file and post my results here.
  • (As I'm not completely sure, you should first try with few abbreviations.
    A quick way to know what's the required format is to use the abbr filter: in your word processor, open the abbr filter (add/edit citation; classic view: "abbrevs" button), edit some fields and export the result. You can then open the generated file in a text editor.)
  • edited November 22, 2012
    Ok I've managed to come up with a .json file that's correctly formatted.

    I used the .txt file available on PubMed ( as a start, because DWL-SDCA's file had encoding problems and all the accents weren't recognized on my Mac.

    However, my file doesn't seem to work because PubMed lists journals with lower case letters.

    For instance what might be "Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience" in my Zotero library, is listed as "Journal of cognitive neuroscience" in the PubMed file.

    Do you reckon there is a way around that?

    EDIT: the file is available here
  • In the above thread there was a flurry of activity around July 5th 2012 regarding a journal abbreviation style list repository. User yourwelcome indicated he had a JSON file containing journal titles for ecology/biology journals and there was some talk between fbennett and adamsmith that having an online repository for different lists that users have created (in JSON format I suppose) could be created.

    I guess my question is, did anything come of this? I couldn't track anything down anything from the CitationSylist website or through other searches. I'm sure there are lots of users out there with different style lists (in addition to the fantastic law resources that fbennett has created and made available) and it would be great to have an online repository for these styles (maybe they aren't that different?), maybe to prevent constant reinvention of the wheel.

    As I said, my specific interest is in the biological sciences, and I would be happy to contribute further changes (and maybe learn a bit in the process).

  • Nothing new on this - fbennett is currently finishing a book, my guess would be that has slowed activity on that end a bit, but obviously a repository of abbreviation lists is still planned.
  • Yes, I'm just swamped with other work. My time is fully budgeted for University work up until Christmas Day, and I hope to finish the book during the short holiday. (An abbreviations repository could presumably be built as a front-end UI on GitHub and linked to from elsewhere, so if anyone wanted to run with the project, that would be great.)
  • I don't think I have the technical know-how to run the UI on GitHub, so I will work towards creating my own style list and hopefully figure out how to upload it when the respository does start up. Thanks for the update and good luck with your book! Your contributions to the Zotero community are very much appreciated and I'm sure people don't say it enough.
  • does anyone have a working file that they can share? Thanks!
  • I have a simple JSON file ( that validates as correct that I am trying to import. I don't get any error messages, but the file never imports. I also tried the CMS JSON file that is on GitHub and that one never imports either. I'm using official Zotero 3.0.13.

    Any suggestions?
  • edited February 15, 2013
    I've just retested with a clean install of MLZ, the Abbreviation filter and the Zotero LibreOffice plugin. Everything seems to be working fine. The media.json file imports correctly. The CMS JSON file (assuming we're both looking at the same file) also imports.

    These tests were run with MLZ, which is the client that the Abbreviation Filter was written to support. If you are using official Zotero, that would be the cause of at least one of your testing failures (see below).

    What may be confusing is that the plugin only lists input abbreviations that are relevant for the current document. An item referenced in the document must contain the (exact same) "long form" field content, and it must be rendered with form="short" (for plain text fields) or with institution-parts="short" [or long-short. or short-long] (for an institution name). If the appropriate short form is not demanded by the style, the abbreviation will have no effect.

    The official version of CSL (to which styles hosted through conform) cannot short-form institution names. The "institution-parts" attribute that controls this is associated with the cs:institution element, and official CSL does not allow it. Even when present in the style, the cs:institution element is applied only when the name input contains a special "isInstitution" flag. Official Zotero does not set this flag. For these reasons, if you are using Zotero 3.0.13 (or any other version of official Zotero), the media.json sample file will have no effect on output. (Matching field content does seem to turn up in the plugin listing with the standard chicago-author-date.csl style, which it should probably not do; but it is ignored when generating output.)

    For testing, I did the following:

    (1) Installed MLZ (from
    (2) Installed Abbreviation Filter (from
    (3) Installed Zotero LibreOffice plugin (from
    (4) Created a Radio Broadcast item with Network value of "Columbia Broadcasting System"
    (5) Opened a document and set it to use MLZ Chicago Fullnote
    (6) Inserted the CBS reference into the document.
    (7) Imported the MLZ Chicago Fullnote abbrevs list (from
    (8) Clicked OK to close the plugin popup.
  • Thanks. I think I'm now understanding what the abbreviations workflow is supposed to be. I don't think it is going to work for my situation. However, I'd suggest adding that step-by-step you just posted to the web site documentation. I'm sure others would benefit from it.
  • That's a good suggestion. Done.
  • Zotero 3.1 will come with native abbreviations support (based on the same JSON files used by fbennett). According to Dan, there may be a beta version in a couple of weeks, the final release is scheduled for april.
  • Zotero now supports abbreviations natively and uses a built-in abbreviations list. You can report problems with that lists in a new thread. Frank's abbreviations plugin is still going to be essential for MLZ's legal style, but typically shouldn't be the way to use abbrevations for journals in vanilla Zotero.
  • edited May 3, 2013
    @fbennett, sorry if I missed this, but what does "default" in the abbreviation list refer to. I understand that it's the locale, but where is this default value taken from? Does it mean that unless the locale matches some other entry in the list, the abbreviations from the "default" list will be used?

    Edit: also, for phrases, is there a way to do a partial match? i.e. match only the beginning of the word? I'm trying to create a phrase list for LTWA (I didn't see one available yet)
  • The list layout does need documenting. The top level ("default" and siblings) is for jurisdictions. Legal styles vary from country to country, and need separate abbreviation lists. For ordinary lists, you can put everything in "default".

    There isn't a partial match feature in the phrase matching mechanism, unfortunately. It's whole-words/phrases or nothing.
  • My word plugin has gotten buggy since installing the abbreviation plugin. For instance, it now sporadically ignores short-titles.

    How can I uninstall this plugin? Thanks.
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